Captivating Students in Forensic Science

Anais Adams - PCHS Bulletin

The halls of Parrish Community High School buzz with excitement as students delve into the captivating world of forensic science. Spearheaded by instructors Jessica Beihl and Michael Blalock, the Forensic Science program at PCHS offers a dynamic blend of education and practical application. 

Beihl, drawing upon her extensive teaching experience and passion for forensic science, emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning and real-world application. “Learning comes alive when you’re actively involved,” Beihl affirms, reflecting her commitment to engaging students in practical experiences that transcend traditional classroom learning. 

Echoing Beihl’s sentiment, Blalock emphasizes the importance of experiential learning, stating, “We start with an introductory unit on crime scene techniques, then transition to types of evidence, including hair, fingerprints, and blood spatter reconstruction.” His dedication to providing students with a comprehensive understanding of forensic science is evident in the diverse range of labs and projects offered throughout the course. 

Beyond the classroom, the Forensic Science program at PCHS fosters partnerships with professionals from the forensic science community. “This year, we had the CSI team from the Manatee County Sheriff's Department and the District Twelve Chief Medical Examiner visit our campus,” Beihl recounts. “Their insights and expertise provide invaluable opportunities for our students to engage with real-world practitioners and gain firsthand knowledge of forensic science applications.” 

Indeed, the program's success has led to its expansion, with Palmetto High School set to offer Forensic Science next year. “We’re thrilled to see the growing interest in forensic science,” Beihl shares. “The introduction of Forensics II will provide students with the opportunity to deepen their understanding and engagement with the subject over two years.” 

In conclusion, the Forensic Science program at PCHS stands as a testament to the power of experiential learning and interdisciplinary education. Through the dedication of instructors like Beihl and Blalock, students embark on a transformative journey where science meets investigation, uncovering the mysteries of the world around them one lab at a time.